Pearce tips Weaver for England

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Stuart Pearce has backed Nicky Weaver to press his claims for a place in the England squad.

The Manchester City keeper is finally over his long-term injury troubles and has been a key figure in the team this season.

Weaver has taken advantage of an injury to summer signing Andreas Isaksson to start seven Premiership matches and Pearce has been delighted with the 27-year-old.

"I think Nicky is a better goalkeeper than he was five years ago," said Pearce.

"There is a void there at the moment and all the English keepers will be looking to stake a claim. It's there for anybody to put some form together.

"Chris Kirkland will be thinking the same, thinking 'There's an opportunity and, if I get in, I could be in for the next 10 years'."

Weaver, meanwhile, feels a key moment in the resurrection of his career was the departure of David James to Portsmouth in pre-season.

"I came back to pre-season wanting to play, but not really expecting to," Weaver told The Guardian.

"The turning point was David James leaving. Jamo was number one, a World Cup goalkeeper, and he wasn't someone who would ever get injured. But when he left, it opened the door for me.

"The club brought in Andreas Isaksson, but he did his ankle straight away and then suddenly I was playing against Chelsea, the champions, at Stamford Bridge, in the first game of the season, with Sky showing it live."

With regards to the future, Weaver added: "I just want to stay fit. That's my ambition.

"I could have another 10 years if I'm lucky and maybe, just maybe, the years I've missed I might get back at the end of my career. I'm loving every minute, I have to say."